Padmini (12 June 1932 – 24 September 2006) was an Indian Actress and trained Bharathanatyam dancer, who acted in over 250 Indian films. She acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi language films. Padmini, with her elder sister Lalitha and her younger sister Ragini, were called the "Travancore sisters".
12 June 1932
|Died||24 September 2006 (aged 74)|
|Other names||Natiya Peroli, Pappima, Thiruvancore Sagotharigal|
|Years active||1947–1994, 2002|
|Parent(s)||Father : Thangappan Mother : Saraswathi|
|Family||Lalitha (elder sister)|
Ragini (younger sister)
Chandra Kumar (brother)
Padmini was born and raised in Thiruvananthapuram, in what was then the princely state of Travancore (now the Indian state of Kerala). She was the second daughter of Sree Thankappan Pillai and Saraswathi Amma. Her sisters Lalitha and Ragini, were also well known film actresses. Together, the three were known as the Travancore sisters. Padmini and her sisters learnt Bharathanatyam from Thiruvidaimarudur Mahalingam Pillai. The trio were the disciples of Indian dancer Guru Gopinath. They learnt Kathakali and Kerala Natanam styles of dancing from him. N.S. Krishnan noticed her talents while she was presenting Parijatha Pushpapaharanam in Thiruvananthapuram. After that performance, he said that in the future she would become an actress. She was thus cast as heroine in his own production Manamagal.
The Travancore Sisters grew up in a joint family tharavadu (Malaya Cottage) in Poojappura, Trivandrum. The matriarchial head of the family was Karthiyayini Amma, whose husband was P.K. Pillai (Palakunnathu Krishna Pillai of Cherthala) alias "Penang Padmanabha Pillai". P.K. Pillai had six sons, of whom Satyapalan Nair (Baby) was a leading producer of many early Malayalam films. They performed at the 1955 Filmfare Awards. Padmini was a leading actress and one of the highest paid actresses of the 50s, 60s and 70s. She is also known as one of the charming beauty queens of the 50s and 60s. She was given the title "Natya Peroli" in Tamil Nadu because of her excellent Bharatnatyam performances in Tamil films. Her Tamil movie Thillana Mohanambal, is a cult classic of Tamil cinema and continues to be remembered even today. Her beautiful performance in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai was outstanding and made her a national star.
Padmini starred with several of the most well-known actors in Indian film, including Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, N. T. Rama Rao, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Sathyan, Prem Nazir, Rajkumar, Gemini Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran. She appeared with Sivaji Ganesan in 59 films.
She acted mostly in Tamil films. Ezhai Padum Padu, released in 1950, was her first film in Tamil.V A Gopalakrishnan taught Padmini sisters Tamil, He was associated with Pakshi Raja studios. Her association with Sivaji Ganesan started with Panam in 1952. Some of her noted Tamil films include Thanga Padhumai, Anbu, Kaattu Roja, Thillana Mohanambal, Vietnam Veedu, Edhir Paradhathu, Mangayar Thilakam and Poove Poochudava. Some of her popular Malayalam films include Prasanna, Snehaseema, Vivaahitha, Adhyaapika, Kumara Sambhavam, Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu, Vasthuhara and Dolar.
In two of her popular Bollywood films — Mera Naam Joker and Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai — she was paired with Raj Kapoor. She did another film with Raj Kapoor – Aashiq (1962). Her other Bollywood films include Amar Deep (1958),Payal (1957), Afsana (1966), Vaasna (1968), Chanda Aur Bijli (1969) and Babubhai Mistry's Mahabharat (1965).
Her most famous was Thillana Mohanambal, a Tamil film, where she plays a dancer competing against a musician to see whose skills are better. She also acted in an Indian-Soviet film Journey Beyond Three Seas (Hindi version: Pardesi) based on the travelogues of Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin (called A Journey Beyond the Three Seas, which is now considered a Russian literary monument), in which she plays Lakshmi, a royal dancer.
In 1961, Padmini married Ramachandran, a U.S.-based physician. She immediately retired from films, joined her husband in the United States, and focused on family life. Padmini was strongly devoted to her husband in a very traditional way and would perform all traditional poojas and worship with her husband as the focus. The couple were blessed with one son, Prem Ramachandran, who lives in Hillsdale, New Jersey and works for Warner Brothers. Sixteen years after her wedding, in 1977, Padmini opened a classical dance school in New Jersey, named the Padmini School of Fine Arts. Today, her school is considered as one of the largest Indian classical dance institutions in America.
Actress Sukumari was the maternal first cousin of Padmini and her sisters (the Travancore sisters). Shobana, the famous dancer, is the niece of Padmini. Malayalam actress Ambika Sukumaran is her relative. Actors Vineeth and Krishna are among her relatives.
Padmini died of a heart attack at the Chennai Apollo Hospital on 24 September 2006. She was hospitalized on the previous day when she suffered the fatal heart attack during a meeting with the then Tamil Nadu CM M. Karunanidhi. She was survived by a son, who is settled in the United States.
Padmini and Vyjayanthimala, both trained classical dancers, vied with each other throughout their careers. They were at the height of their careers and there was professional rivalry between them. The real-life envy crept into the dance drama, which added its own effects to the impact of the sequence. Padmini was well known for her professional rivalry with actress Vyjayanthimala, the successful dancer-actress. They performed a dance number in the Tamil film Vanjikottai Valiban; the well known song was "Kannum Kannum Kalanthu", which was sung by P. Leela and Jikki. In the song, they were pitted against each other. Due to their professional rivalry, the song has a cult following since the film was released; the popularity of the song surpasses the popularity of the film.
- Certificate of merit for Veerapandiya Kattabomman in the Afro-Asian film festival in 1960
- Best actress award from Film Fans Association in 1954, 1959, 1961 and 1966.
- 1958 – Kalaimamani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu
- 1957 – The "Best Classical Dancer Award" from Moscow Youth Festival
- 1966 – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Kaajal
- 1990 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South
- 1970 – Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for Thillaanaa Mohanambal
- 2000– Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award – Kalaivanar Award
|1986||Thaikku Oru Thalattu|
|1977||Dheepam||SivajiGanesan Mother Role||dubbed in Hindi as "Jai Jagat Janani"|
|1975||Oru Kudumbathin Kadhai|
|1974||Devi Shri Kaumariamman|
|1971||Aathi Parasakthi||Lord Parasakthi|
|1970||Raman Ethanai Ramanadi||Guest appearance|
|1968||Thirumal Perumai||Deva Devi|
|1968||Kuzhanthaikkaga||Gowri||Remade in Hindi as Nanhin Farishta|
|1967||Engaluckum Kalam Varum|
|1966||Saraswathi Sabatham||Devi Maha Parvathi 'Shakti'|
|1963||Naan Vanangum Daivam||Rukmani|
|1960||Raja Bakthi||Princess Sarojini|
|1959||Ponnu Vilayum Bhoomi|
|1958||Vanjikottai Valiban||Princess Padma|
|1957||Raja Rajan||Princess Rama|
|1956||Verum Pechu Alla|
|1954||Illara Jothi||Chithra Lekha|
|1954||Kalyanam Panniyum Brammachari||Padmini|
|1954||Sorgavasal||Queen Kumara Devi|
|1950||Ezhai Padum Padu|
|1970||Aansoo Aur Muskan||Mary|
|1970||Mera Naam Joker||Meena/Meena Banu Bochali/Master Meenu|
|1969||Madhavi||Rajkumari Mangala V Singh|
|1969||Chanda Aur Bijli||Bijli|
|1965||Mahabharat||Draupadi / Sairantri|
|1960||Aai Phirse Bahar|
|1960||Aai Phirse Bahar|
|1960||Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai||Kammo|
|1958||Raj Tilak||Princess Bathma|
|1957||Pardesi||Lakshmi||An Indian-Soviet film. Released in Russian as Journey Beyond Three Seas|
|1952||Mr. Sampat||Malini Devi|
|1985||Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu||Kunjoonjamma Thomas|
|1970||Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha|
|1961||Sabarimala Sree Ayyappan||Mohini/Mahavishnu|
|1953||Oka Talli Pillalu|
|1957||Khozhdenie Za Tri Morya||Lakshmi|
|2002||American Dreams||Parvathyamma||Asianet Channel|
- "Front Page : Queen of Tamil cinema no more". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Padmini Ramachandran – Indian Actress and Dancer – Obituary
- Actress Padmini dead
- "Friday Review Chennai : Beauty, charm, charisma". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "Entertainment / Interview : The tillana glitter is intact". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 24 September 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "Beauty, charm, charisma". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 29 September 2006.
- Padmini to relocate
- Randor Guy (26 March 2011). "Vanjikottai Vaaliban 1958". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Miscellaneous / This Day That Age: dated March 17, 2010: Afro-Asian film festival". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- Sulochana Pattabhiraman (4 February 2001). "A role model". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 13 April 2011.